Obviously, it hasn’t been a stellar decade for racism in America. Police shootings, Trump etc., let’s just say I’m not running over the border to be black in America any time soon. Naively, I’ve leaned towards the opinion that it’s not as bad in Toronto, Canada. Not here, I’d think in my head (well I mean sort of, at least it’s not vocalized and acted upon). But boy was I wrong.
With a few recent stories coming to my attention, I’m realizing it’s just as bad here as it is there. One of my best friends and lawyer by occupation was recently turned down for a rental condo by the landlord because her and her husband (PhD) looked like someone they had gotten into an accident with. Pardon? Is that even legal? (It isn’t) Another recent and more public story by beloved black city news anchor Marci Ien, on being racially profiled in her neighborhood hit home as well. And lastly, an article covering how black Torontonians are facing a variety of specific health challenges due to racism just floored me.
I just feel like ugh, I have to deal with this, on top of everything else in my life? My negative thinking comes into play. I have that weighty feeling on my chest. I have to analyze my position in society and navigate accordingly? I have to be strategic? I have to overcome and fight racism as it applies to me, a black woman? I have to fight for my right? Ain’t nobody got time (or energy) for that. But then I remember how much I love being black. The culture, the food, the music, the versatility, the resilience, the connection, my family and my friends. I can look at my people and say that we made it through, we made it through the dark times and will continue to make it through, despite the hatred. And that is not something to be depressed about, that is something to rejoice.
Have you ever been discriminated against? How has this affected your mood and mental health?